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There has recently been a renewal of interest in anarchism. Books, pamphlets, and anthologies are being devoted to it. It is doubtful whether this literary effort is really very effective. It is difficult to trace the outlines of anarchism. Its master thinkers rarely condensed their ideas into systematic works. If, on occasion, they tried to do so, it was only in thin pamphlets designed for propaganda and popularization in which only fragments of their ideas can be observed. Moreover, there are several kinds of anarchism and many variations within the thought of each of the great libertarians. Rejection of authority and stress on the priority of individual judgment make it natural for libertarians to "profess the faith of anti dogmatism." "Let us not become the leaders of a new religion," Proudhon wrote to Marx, "even were it to be the religion of logic and reason." It follows that the views of the libertarians are more varied, more fluid, and harder to apprehend than thos...


In 1974, or early 1975, I reviewed in the English anarchist paper Freedom a book by Carlos Semprun Maura, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Catalonia (French edition). In my review I criticized both Semprun Maura and Vernon Richards' book Lessons of the Spanish Revolution for presenting a distorted, over-simplified interpretation of events- a scenario. This provoked a heated rejoinder from Richards (three or four articles in Freedom). Over forty years after the tragic defeat of the Spanish Revolution - 1936 to 1939 - the question of anarchist participation in the Republican government and the role of anarchists in a revolution is a fundamental problem still debated- still relevant. I include my polemic with Richards in these memoirs beca... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


Foreword On May 26, 1958 at midnight, Chiu Tsai-kang, a steel worker of the Shanghai No. 3 Steel Works, was burned by molten steel. The affected area extended over 89 percent of his body, 20 percent being third degree burns with the muscles and bones involved. According to Western medical authorities, a patient with such severe burns would be likely to die. But due to the affectionate' concern of the Communist Party, to the great efforts made by the medical staff and to the widespread support of society at large, Chiu Tsai-kang is still alive. After being treated for more than five months his wounds are now completely healed and covered by grafted skin. On November 23 he was transferred to the Sino-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Peking for f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


It must be left to the future historian to determine whether the Bolshevik repression of the bourgeoisie, with which they started, their rule, was not merely a means towards the ulterior purpose of suppressing all the other non-Bolshevik elements. For the Russian bourgeoisie was not really dangerous to the Revolution. As is well known, it was an insignificant minority, unorganized, without definite solidaric interests and entirely powerless. The revolutionary elements, on the contrary, were a real obstacle to the dictatorship of any political party. The elimination of the revolutionary elements would be of prime necessity to any dictatorship, because such a dictatorship would meet with the strongest opposition NOT from the bourgeoisie but f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The Commissar of our ossobniak, having to lay in provisions, invited me to accompany him to the Moskkommune. It is the great food supply center, a tremendous organization that feeds Moscow and its environs. Its trains have the right of way on all lines and carry food from parts as distant as Siberia and Turkestan. Not a pound of flour can be issued by any of the "stores" --- the distributing points scattered throughout the city --- without a written order signed and counter-signed by the various bureaus of the Commune. From this center each "distributor" receives the amount necessary to supply the demands of the given district, according to the norm allowed on the bread and other cards. The Moskkommune is the most popular and active institution; it is a beehive swarming with thousands of employes, busy determining the different categories of pyock and issuing "authorizations." Besides the bread rations, sugar, tea, etc., given to the citizen by...

MY MOTHER waved farewell as the TWA plane took off from Newark airport. In a moment I lost sight of her. The big winged ship taxied to the end of the field, and swung around. Another few seconds and the plane had lifted clear of earth. and was gliding smoothly through space. Looking eastward as we climbed, I could see the Statue of Liberty, ships moving in New York Bay, the skyscrapers of Manhattan with their lights just beginning to stab the gathering dusk. Between were railroad yards and the smoke-stacks of countless industrial plants. Below, as the plane straightened its course, was the city of Newark, with a shimmering streak of illumination recognizable as Broad Street. The sun was gone from the sky, darkness came quickly, and other towns over which we passed were mere blurs of light. September 17, 1933 This was my second trip to Southern California. Early that year I had been discharged from a Los Angeles garment factory and b...


The original free, unconsciously Anarchist, institutions of our country, which Kemble describes as during the Saxon period "supplying a mutual guarantee of peace, security, and freedom for the inhabitants of a district," have constituted down to the present day the boast of Englishmen. But how changed they are: oh I quantum mutatabillis I. These originally free institutions of the English people have been attacked on both sides; by the over-growth of central government, and by the usurpations of that class whose fortune has been the misery of the people. The process of such political "enclosures," as it were, was extremely varied. Now the committee of the people's assembly was substituted for the assembly itself; now the function of moderat... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Gaston Leval: Social Reconstruction in Spain (London 1938); quoted in Vernon Richards: Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (London 1983) The mechanism of the formation of the Aragonese collectives has been generally the same. After having overcome the local authorities when they were fascist, or having replaced them by Anti-fascist or Revolutionary committees when they were not, an assembly was summoned of all the inhabitants of the locality to decide on their line of action. One of the first steps was to gather in the crop not only in the fields of the small landowners who still remained, but, what was even more important, also on the estates of the large landowners all of whom were conservatives and rural `caciques' or chiefs. Groups were o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


Published by Freedom Press 27 Red Lion Street, London, W.C.1 July 1945 and printed by Express Printers, London. We are reproducing an abridged version of the first part of Gaston Leval's pamphlet "Social Reconstruction in Spain," which was published by Freedom Press in 1938, but which has since gone out of print. Many readers of "War Commentary" have expressed a desire for the reproduction in some form of the contents of this excellent pamphlet. COLLECTIVES IN SPAIN INDUSTRIAL socialization was the first undertaking of the Spanish Revolution, particularly in Barcelona. But obstacles were created from the beginning, which resulted in preventing these experiments from being developed to their logical end. The war was the principal handicap. B... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The greatest excitement has prevailed in Russia for the last few weeks since it became known that representatives of the Zemstvos of thirty-four provinces of the Empire were going to meet at St. Petersburg in order to discuss the necessary reforms in the general political organization of the country. The very fact that such an authorization had been granted was equivalent to an invitation to discuss a scheme of a Constitution; and so it was understood everywhere. When the Zemstvo delegates were leaving their respective provincial towns they were sent off by groups of enthusiastic friends, whose parting words were: 'Return with a Constitution!' Their original intention was to make of their conference a solemn official gathering which would s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Source: The Communist, Vol. XVIII, No.12, December 1939 Publisher: Workers Library Publishers, New York, NY Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive . You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source. HUNGRY for huge war profits, the barons of Wall Street are speeding to involve the American people in the imperialist war raging in Europe. The blackout of civil liberties is part of Wall Street’s war drive. Capitalist reaction is intent upon depriving the Communists of their civil rights as the preparation for an attack on the economic standards and civil rights of the trad... (From : Marxists.org.)


In reply to "A project of anarchist organization" Dear Comrade Malatesta, I have read your response to the project for an 'Organizational Platform of a General Union of Anarchists', a project published by the group of Russian anarchists abroad. My impression is that either you have misunderstood the project for the 'Platform' or your refusal to recognize collective responsibility in revolutionary action and the directional function that the anarchist forces must take up, stems from a deep conviction about anarchism that leads you to disregard that principle of responsibility. Yet, it is a fundamental principle, which guides each one of us in our way of understanding the anarchist idea, in our determination that it should penetrate to the ma... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


FREEDOM IS IT A CRIME? The Strange Case of the Tree Anarchists Jailed at the Old Bailey, April 1945 Two Speeches by HERBERT READ FORWARD by E. SILVERMAN FREEDOM PRESS DEFENSE COMMITTEE 2d. First Published by The Freedom Press Defense Committee, 17, St. George Street, London, W.1. June, 1945 And printed by Express Printers, London. The Publishers have asked me to write a foreword to this pamphlet. As an individual who cares about freedom of speech and freedom of the press I accept with pleasure the opportunity to say a word to the public. Three decent, useful and respectable citizens, who Mr. Justice Birkett said were of the highest character and who he was quite prepared to believe were actuated by the highest motives, are in prison. Their ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


We had a rough and ready sort of meeting on April 12, for the opener mistook the date and did not appear, and the notices were sent too late to Justice and the 'Weal. So Comrade Kropotkin opened the debate with some general remarks on voluntary association. A common objection, he said, to Communist-Anarchism is that men are not yet good enough to organize themselves on a basis of perfect freedom, or to behave like social beings without government control. But in truth, authority in itself has a depressing influence, corrupting even good men, and already more of our social life is founded on voluntary association than we at all realize. If it is true that among the workers to-day there are many men who are as ready as any bourgeois to compet... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

Modern States -- Influence of English and American Revolutions on French Revolution -- Condition and aims of middle classes -- Centralization of authority -- Attitude towards peasants -- Influence of eighteenth-century philosophy To understand fully the idea which inspired the middle classes in 1789 we must consider it in the light of its results--the modern States. The structure of the law-and-order States which we see in Europe at present was only outlined at the end of the eighteenth century. The system of centralized authority, now in full working order, had not then attained either the perfection or uniformity it possesses to-day. That formidable mechanism, by which an order sent from a certain capital puts in motion all the men of a nation, ready for war, and sends them out to carry devastation through countries, and mourning into families; those territories, overspread with a network of officials whose personality is c...

Chapter XV Floodgates; The First Twenty Black Flag Years; Novel Approach; Terrorist Links; The Magic Coat Floodgates Stuart and I wrote a book together, on the basics of anarchism, which we called The Floodgates of Anarchy. On the royalties we were able to continue the Black Cross and also fund Black Flag as a regular publication for several years. Floodgates brought anarcho-syndicalism into modern terms of reference, and ran into several editions, one of them a major paperback (Sphere Books). There was also a Spanish edition by the Argentine publisher, Editorial Proyeccion. Later we did an offset run ourselves to take into Spain. It attracted some interesting reviews, ranging from the leading Sundays to a bizarre review in Chili where a bewildered weekly paper criticized us for failing to conceal our sympathies on the dreaded subject of anarchism. It gave Miguel the idea of writing his experie...

It is pretty generally recognized in Europe that altogether our penal institutions are very far from being what they ought, and no better indeed than so many contradictions in action of the modern theory of the treatment of criminals. The principle of the lex talionis--of the right of the community to avenge itself on the criminal--is no longer admissible. We have come to an understanding that society at large is responsible for the vises that grow in it, as well as it has its share in the glory of its heroes; and we generally admit, at least in theory, that when we deprive a criminal of his liberty, it is to purify and improve him. But we know how hideously at variance with the ideal the reality is. The murderer is simply handed over to the hangman; and the man who is shut up in a prison is so far from being bettered by the change, that he comes out more resolutely the foe of society than he was when he went in. Subjection, on disgraceful terms, to humiliating wor...


A succession of meetings have been held during the past month to protest against the infamous sentences of death and imprisonment passed upon the Chicago Anarchists. The largest of these meetings, held at South Place, Oct. 14 was organized by a representative committee of English Socialists-Anarchist an Democratic. A resolution declaring our comrades' condemnation to be an attack upon freedom of speech and public meeting, of vital concern to the working classes all over the world, was enthusiastically and unanimously passed by a crowded audience of English workers. The speakers were the Rev. Stewart Headlam chairman) of the Guild of St. Matthew, William Morris of the Socialist League, J. Blackwell of the Social Democratic Federation, Annie ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


From my copy of Alexander Berkman's The Kronstadt Rebellion, Berlin: Der Sindikalist, 1922. Russian Revolution Series The Kronstadt Rebellion By Alexander Berkman Fifteen Cents 1922 I. LABOR DISTURBANCES IN PETROGRAD It was early in 1921. Long years of war, revolution, and civil struggle had bled Russia to exhaustion and brought her people to the brink of despair. But at last civil war was at an end: the numerous fronts were liquidated, and Wrangel -- the last hope of Entente intervention and Russian counter-revolution -- was defeated and his military activities within Russia terminated. The people now confidently looked forward to the mitigation of the severe Bolshevik régime. It was expected that with the end of civil war the Commu... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Jefferson City, MO, 29 June 1919, Darling, mine. There is so much, so much I want to write you. I scarcely know where to begin & where to let off. I will have to content myselfs with the most essential & leave the other when we meet - just three months from to day. My birth-day - like last year I spent it in bed. Not quite so ill, but in pain & discomfiture. The same thing I had 2 weeks ago & which I will probably have to endure during most of the Summer. As a result of my laying off a very funny thing happened. Funny only because I have so short a time in here. Other wise it would have been the beginning of a serious & bitter struggle. I have repeatedly written you how very decent Dr Mc Nearney has always been to me. As... (From : University of Berkeley.)


Letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti from the Death House August 4, 1927. From the Death House of the Massachusetts State Prison TO THE DEFENSE COMMITTEE: Governor Alvan T. Fuller is a murderer as Thayer, Katzmann, the State perjurors and all the other. He shake hand with me like a brother, make me believe he was honestly intentioned and that he had not sent the three carbarn-boy to have no escuse to save us. Now ignoring and denia all the proofs of our innocence and insult us and murder us. We are innocent. This is a war of plutocracy against liberty, against the people. We die for Anarcy. Long life Anarcy. [This letter was written directly after Vanzetti learned of the Governor’s decision not to commute Sacco and Vanzetti’s sentence... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti from the Bridgewater Hospital for the Criminal Insane April 4, 1925. Bridgewater Hospital for Criminal Insane COMRADE DONOVAN: This very sheet of paper tells you that I have received two copies of The Nation which you me in your letter of March 30th. Much obliged, comrade Donovan, for the papers and more for your letter, which came to me as a flash of light. . . . So, you are studying Dante’s language, and will write to me in the "Idioma gentil sonante e puro” of the "Bel Paese aue li 'si' suona”? Very well—I proudly congratulate you. There is something in the Italian literature worth while reading, studying and ponderating by every person of good will—not mentioning a re... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Nicola Sacco from the Dedham Jail November 30, 1921. Dedham Jail DEAR BARTOLO: Saturday the 26th my Rosie and the children came to visit me, and this was the first time I seen the children since the time you left Dedham. You can imagine how happy I felt to see them so joyful and so gay and in the best of health, if only you could see little Ines. She got so fat, she is really a dolly, Dante also looks very good. He writes to me every week. Rosa also looks very good after the operation she is gaining daily. I feel very good and I don't do nothing but exercise, read and write. I am very sorry that no one comes and see you, no one comes to see me neither, but Rosie . . . [Rosie and Rosa refer to Sacco’s wife Rosina. I... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Vanzetti from the Dedham Jail, April - June 1927 April 14, 1927. Dedham Jail DEAR COMRADE MARY [DONOVAN]: Today I have written, written and written all the time. Now it is late and I am tired. Yet I cannot help to write to you. . . . What I want to say to you is, again and ever, to be calm and self restrained. Yes, just that and what I do not know to say. I knew that you lost your job. Another of their nice things. Now you are working days and nights to save Nick and I. Remember that you must rest, and rest at least for the necessity of it. Good-bye, and all my regards to you, also Nick. [COMRADE MARY was Mary Donovan, a recording secretary of the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee who had been dismissed from her job a... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Nicola Sacco from the Charlestown State Prison July 19, 1927 MY DEAR INES: I would like that you should understand what I am going to say to you, and I wish I could write you so plain, for I long so much to have you hear all the heart-beat, eagemess of your father, for I love you so much as you are the dearest little beloved one. It is quite hard indeed to make you understand in your young age, but I am going to try from the bottom of my heart to make you understand how dear you are to your father's soul. If I cannot succeed in doing that, I know that you will save this letter and read it over in future years to come and you will see and feel the same heart-beat affection as your father feels in writing it to you. I will... (From : umkc.edu.)


From La Correspondance de Michel Bakunin, published and prefaced by Michel Dragmanov, 1896, Paris, France, pages 180-183. Letter from Bakunin to Herzen and Ogareff1 August 17, 1863 Stockholm My dear friends, This is the third letter I am sending you from this place. Two months ago, I had the opportunity to send you the first directly, the second by your agent in Switzerland who, on your command, was supposed to come to Stockholm, but who was likely sidetracked by unexpected occurrences and contented himself with sending me a letter through Nordstrom. I immediately responded, with an extended letter attached, pleading with him to immediately send you the letter; I would be very angry if it was not sent to you. However, I can reassure you wit... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


From La Correspondance de Michel Bakunin, published and prefaced by Michel Dragmanov, 1896, Paris, France, pages 133-135. The Cloche and the Polish People October 3, 1862 Herzen, I completely disagree with you; I do not think it would be possible to reply to the letter written by the Varsovie Committee only by publishing my Proclamation to Russian officers in the Cloche. I hold a firm conviction that we must respond to this official Polish document with a document, more precisely a letter addressed to the Committee itself, in which we will summarize our principles and our hopes for Russia and Little Russia, countersigned by the three of us. It seems to me that justice and our dignity demand it. We take full responsibility for the " practica... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


I should be very glad to join you and your associates -- whose work I know and appreciate -- in standing up for the rights of the Literature Committee and opposing the enemies of popular education. But in the sphere in which you are working I see no way to resist them. My only consolation is that I, too, am constantly engaged in struggling against the same enemies of enlightenment, though in another manner. Concerning the special question with which you are preoccupied, I think that in place of the Literature Committee which has been prohibited, a number of other Literature Associations to pursue the same objects should be formed without consulting the Government and without asking permission from any censor. Let Government, if it likes, pr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Living My Life by Emma Goldman Volume one New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc.,1931. Chapter 10 When I returned to New York two days later, having been discharged by the Baltimore police magistrate with a strong admonition never again to come back to the city, a letter from Sasha was awaiting me. It was written in very small but distinct script and gave the details of the Monday in court. He had repeatedly tried to learn the date of his trial, the letter read, but he could not procure any information about it. On the morning of the 19th he was suddenly ordered to get ready. He had barely time to gather up the sheets of his speech. Strange and antagonistic faces met him in the court-room. In vain he strained his eye for the sight of his friends. He realized that they, too, must have been kept in ignorance of the day of the trial. Yet he hoped against hope for the miracle. But there was not a friendl...


Dr. Malthus, an economist, an Englishman, once wrote the following words: “A man who is born into a world already possessed, if he cannot get subsistence from his parents on whom he has a just demand, and if the society do not want his labor, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food, and, in fact, has no business to be where he is. At nature’s mighty feast there is no vacant cover for him. She tells him to be gone, and will quickly execute her own orders...” As a consequence of this great principle, Malthus recommends, with the most terrible threats, every man who has neither labor nor income upon which to live to take himself away, or at any rate to have no more children. A family, — that is, love, &mda... (From : anarchism.pageabode.com.)

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